I was recently given the opportunity to take Cubemen and its new game modes for a spin on my IOS device, and for the most part it was an enlightening experience. The ultimate goal of the game is to position your Cubemen on the board using whatever strategy you see fit to defend your base. Think tower defense with mobile cube warriors. I am relatively new to this genre, but must say that I was pleasantly surprised by the experience that I encountered. If you are already a fan of tower defense strategy games, then Cubemen is definitely a game that you should check out.
EB: 8 out of 10 Buddhas
- Easy Game play
- Simple Clean Graphics
- Variety and Achievements
The Not so Awesome
- Potential Offline Replay Value
Easy Game play
Games are for entertainment, and I appreciate those that keep the gameplay simple as to not frustrate me before even getting started, and Cubemen is no exception. Within only a few seconds after download and installation of the app, I was engaged in my first battle of Blue vs. Red, Good vs. Evil, Xbox 360 vs. PS3. Even for those gamers that are not intimately familiar with the tower defense genre, you will have no trouble figuring out the controls to position your soldiers all over the map. Obviously as the game progresses the difficulty gets increased, but the fact that the Cubemen gameplay is so intuitive you should have no problem perfecting your strategies for the more difficult challenges.
Clean Simple Graphics
Make no mistake, Cubemen will not be on anyone’s nomination list for “best graphics” of the year, however I found the clean simple color palette to work surprisingly well. Each level is a varying mixture of light and dark greys with no texture, combined to form maps with nice depth and detail. Splash in a more vibrant color here and there, such as the blues and reds used for your soldiers, and what you are left with is an extremely eye catching game that seems to jump off of the screen. I can imagine this would be even more vibrant on a newer iPad with the Retina display. Regardless, the simplicity of the graphics should guarantee this game runs nice and smooth regardless of your chosen platform.
Kind of reminds you of The Grid from TRON?
Variety and Achievements
No matter you level of experience with tower defense type game play, Cubemen offers a variety of game modes, maps, and difficulty levels that should meet your needs. Below is a brief description of each.
A single player mode where the objective is to protect you base from incoming enemies. During gameplay, you can get package drops that will enable special abilities such as healing, freezing all enemies, and instant death for all enemies.
At the time of this publication, there are 35 levels available to play in Defense Mode ranging from easy to hard, in addition to the following 6 game modes (**below specs for Defense Mode taken from Cubemen website):
- Classic (Normal gameplay – 20 waves)
- Limited Players (you can’t have more than 6 men on the level at once)
- Limited Cubes (You start with 300 Cubes and don’t earn any more)
- Just Rockets (You can only purchase Ricky Rocket men and the enemy only spawns Crossbow men)
- Endless (Classic mode with endless waves)
- Sudden Death (Classic mode butt you only start with one life
This particular mode is a multi-player experience that allows you to play against the computer, or engage other gamers across the globe. In addition to purchasing Cubemen as in Defense Mode, teams are also given computer spawned Cubemen that automatically move to attack the opposition base like a bunch of mindless drones.
At the time of this publication, there are 25 levels available to play in Skirmish Mode.
Now in this game type is a 2 – 6 online multi-player mode that allows you to battle AI opponents, other gamers, or a mixture of both. This is a fast paced game mode also allowing for some co-op action. I would not recommend jumping directly into this mode unless you like high stress levels.
At the time of this publication, there are 6 levels available to play in Mayhem Mode.
To sweeten the deal, in addition to varying combinations of game modes, the developer has tried to keep gamers interests by offering 44 Achievements that can be obtained. This should be great news for all of you achievement wh*res out there that thrive on task completion.
Although achievements can’t be obtained on every level, the developer has also included the ability to earn medals on each level based on your play during that round. Medals awarded start at Bronze and work up to Platinum, with your haul for the round being summarized at the end.
The Not so Awesome
Potential Offline Replay Value
Even with all of the varying types of gameplay and modes available as described above, I see the potential for the gameplay to become stagnant if only playing Cubemen in offline mode. Like most games these days, you get the best replay value when playing against others whether it is friends, or some random stranger in another part of the world. AI is good, but it is still not a sufficient substitute for the strategy and unpredictability of another human opponent.
This however is only a minor knock, and I am sure hardcore tower defense fans will have no issue playing offline time and time again.
The Final Verdict
3 Sprockets has delivered a fun and solid game that should offer many hours of entertainment and tower defense action. Its easy to use controls, variety of game modes and difficulty settings, and the ability to earn achievements makes it worth $3.99 for your iOS devices. I rank it 8 out of 10 Buddhas and recommend it to both fans of the genre and newcomers alike. You’ve been needing a little Red v Blue in your life…
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